Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Military invited to building for fireworks

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JUNEAU - The eighth floor exterior plaza of the State Office Building will be open tonight from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for military families to view fireworks.

Gov. Sarah Palin has asked that military families be given priority, according to the Department of Administration. Space is limited, and access will be provided on a first-come basis.

Military families should enter through the main building entrance on Calhoun Street and bring a military identification. State employees should use their security access cards.

No alcohol, pets, glass containers or fireworks will be allowed.

Third U.S. soldier charged with murder

BAGHDAD - A third Alaska-based U.S. soldier has been charged with murder in the death of an Iraqi civilian and placing a weapon by the victim to portray him as a combatant, the U.S. military said Monday.

Sgt. Evan Vela, of Phoenix, Idaho, was charged Sunday with one count of premeditated murder, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice, the military said in a statement.

He was placed in pre-trial confinement, the state added.

Two other soldiers - Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley of Candler, N.C., and Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval, Jr., of Laredo, Texas - were charged in the case last week.

All three soldiers are assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

The alleged killings occurred between April and June near Iskandariyah, a mostly Sunni Arab city south of Baghdad.

Two teenagers killed when car hits moose

ANCHORAGE - Two teenagers were killed after a car in which they were passengers collided with a moose, Alaska State Troopers said Monday.

The impact with the moose tore the roof off the car, troopers said.

The accident happened Sunday when the moose ran onto the road at Mile 269.5 of the Richardson Highway, near Delta Junction.

Killed in the accident were front seat passenger, Tatyana Kulinich, 14, and the right rear passenger, Mikhail Medyanikov, 19, both of Delta Junction, troopers said.

The driver and two other passengers had serious injuries and were flown to a Fairbanks hospital, troopers said.

The driver braked but couldn't avoid the collision, troopers said. The car continued several hundred feet before leaving the road and hitting trees.

Troopers said alcohol does not appear to be a factor, and next of kin have been notified.

The accident is under investigation.

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